From: Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell
I write these words with a heavy heart, an inability to understand nor comprehend the actions of the Ugandan Parliament, and a sense of depression, following my rejoicing in response to the accomplishments of Nelson Mandela.
I share this as an 80-year-old African-American who was active in the Civil Rights Movement, as a Christian, and as one who had the honor and joy of being a participant in the film “Love Heals Homophobia”.
Nelson Mandela became the President of a South Africa that in its re-birth, embraced in its Constitution and other documents, the rights of LGBT persons and same-gender-loving couples.
South Africa through the influence of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many others, believes that justice and equality for black persons is superficial if does not also embrace others, particularly those who are sexual minorities. Why has that not happened in Uganda?
My first trip to the continent of Africa was in 1971, 42 years ago. I visited Tanzania to participate in a Consultation of African and African American Church and Government leaders. The sense of harmony we experienced at that meeting, despite our differences, was overwhelming.
I would value another such a meeting again to discuss the human rights of LGBT persons and same-sex couples, as those rights relate to the long struggles of Africans in Africa, in America and in other parts of the world.
I, as a Christian minister am continually shocked when black persons in Africa
and in the USA do not understand that the use of the Bible and Christian teaching that once justified slavery and racial segregation in Africa and the USA is being replicated to demean and abuse same-gender-loving persons. How strange it is that a people who because of their race once and still now, knew/know separation and segregation because of their race, do the same to people because of their sexual orientation.
We sing in Christian churches “Love came down at Christmas” during Advent
and Christmas. How tragic it is that the Ugandan Parliament through its legislation abuses the meaning of the one called Jesus, whom God sent into human history many years ago. The world has seen the abuse of black South Africans during apartheid. How does Uganda and its governmental and church leaders want to be portrayed as historians and film makers portray today’s legal enslavement of Ugandans because they are same-gender-loving?
Christians, and those who are not Christian, are overwhelmed as they read and see pictures of the acts of dehumanization of black persons in pre-Independent Africa. The same will take place as they read and see pictures of the dehumanization of homosexual persons in Uganda.
Do the church and governmental leaders of Uganda care?
Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell
Asbury Park, New Jersey/USA
- What African LGBTs can learn from Tata Mandela (76crimes.com)
- Richard Branson: I urge companies to boycott Uganda because of its anti-gay laws (pinknews.co.uk)
- Mandela’s LGBTQ Advocacy Ignored in Africa & African Diasporic Communities (ukprogressive.co.uk)